Sydney social news start-up Streem will shut down this afternoon, according to a heartfelt notice posted on the site this morning by its founder Elgar Welch.
The start-up formally launched in July, saying it would differ from traditional media outlets by paying readers a small fee for any content they submitted. It also had a number of in-house editorial staff and used wire news services to supplement its content.
"Our project was one of ambition, personal drive and the chance to win," wrote Welch on his 21st birthday. "We did believe in its success, but like many businesses in Australia today, [it] will go down a victim of a frozen credit market and hesitant investment community."
"We accept our defeat, graciously, but leave emphasising a message of choice, independence and Australian ownership."
We're not surprised to see Streem go down (bootstrappr gave the start-up a "bust" rating when we reviewed it, one of the first start-ups we examined on this blog), but we are saddened.
There is no doubt that Welch himself is an enthusiastic individual who had some great ideas; amongst them an innovative revenue model that at another company still might shake up the online media market. In addition, we don't like to see any start-up forced out of the market, especially as a result of the macro-economic factors that are currently shaking most technology companies in Australia, large or small.
Here's wishing Welch and his team good luck in the future; and we'll certainly expect to see the youthful start-up founder pop up in another role and doing some great things in future. Certainly, as we're seeing with the reporting on the attacks in Mumbai, user-contributed news is not going away any time soon.